You can’t go five seconds these days without someone mentioning Kyrie Irving. The media is in a frenzy due to the fact that he requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers and blindsided LeBron James in the process. What has unfolded is something comparable to the infamous feud between Shaq and Kobe. Many came out and questioned Kyrie. Chauncey Billups couldn’t believe his ears when he heard Kyrie was leaving. How could anyone want to leave a team where he won a title and went to the finals three straight years?
Kyrie’s teammate, Richard Jefferson, weighed in and had some words of empathy for the young superstar.
“I think Kyrie is a hyper-intelligent kid,” Jefferson said on an episode of his “Road Trippin'” podcast. “Really, really smart. Doesn’t get enough credit for how smart he is, and I think seeing that the franchise is in flux, I think seeing [David Griffin] leave and the amount of coaches … I think Kyrie has had a much tougher time in this stretch of the organization than anyone ever wants to ever really fully [recognize].”
“He’s the No. 1 pick right after LeBron [left for Miami in 2010], then he has three different coaches, then LeBron comes back, now there’s trade rumors, now it’s ‘LeBron’s leaving.’ It’s like at some point in time, anybody would want some sort of stability.”
Jefferson’s statement illuminates the issue for the plebeian. Kyrie doesn’t want to be left with a team built by and for LeBron James when LeBron James is exploring options outside of Cleveland. This is completely understandable. Kyrie is simply looking out for his own interests.
The truth of the matter is, Kyrie wants to make big time money. He sees Steph Curry and James Harden cashing in on lucrative contracts, and Kyrie wants to be like them. The New York Knicks have emerged as potential suitors for Irving and Kyrie is reportedly ecstatic at the idea of joining them.
This speaks to his desire to cash in on his talents. He would play for a big market and eventually take over a franchise where he could demand a mega-contract like his fellow superstars. That is harder to do in LeBron’s shadow. In New York, Kyrie could be the man. If Melo stays, they would be a formidable team since Porzingis is the new Golden Boy in the Big Apple. Kyrie would also secure a great amount of money in endorsements.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with protecting one’s financial interests. LeBron has never been shy about that fact, so why should that be the case for Kyrie? Aside from stability, there is always the dilemma between taking more money or playing on a championship-caliber team.
Kyrie already has a ring, something many in the league covet for years, if not their whole careers.
Kyrie has that, and now he wants to build his own dynasty for the Irving family. More power to him.